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Our Five Favourite Web Chat Apps

A client recently asked for our recommendation on which website chat app to use and as I’ve only have experience with Olark in recent years I thought it would be worth reviewing what’s currently available.

I picked five listed below based on whether they were recommended elsewhere, if I’d heard of them before or on the clarity of the offer and the systems design. I evaluated each chat app as a potential customer chatting to the vendor’s operator judging each on how quickly I got chatting, if I was hounded at all to begin with, what integrations they had and of course the cost. Hopefully this will give you a little more information to refine down your selection to test out.

Summary: JivoChat and Olark stuck out for me as a cost effective way to get started but Zendesk looks like a good step up to a fuller chat and customer support system with better integrations when time and budget allow. web chat sales website screenshot

  • Chat only. Free with option to pay for branding removal or chat agents
  • Need to enter email/name to start chat
  • Admin is browser only as far as I can see
Olark web chat sales website screenshot


  • Chat only from £12/mo/agent but have free plan capped at 20 chats/month
  • Automated messages to start conversations based on rules such as referring URL or location
  • Message templates for quicker responses
  • Integrates with many CRM apps
  • Needed to enter email/name to start chat
  • Exit survey and ability to send copy of the transcript by email
JivoChatweb chat sales website screenshot


  • Basic version free for 5 agents. Pro version (£7/mo/agent) includes canned responses with some automation message automation
  • No questions to start the chat, was initiated by operator
  • Have desktop and mobile apps as well as browser app
  • Have API/Webhooks
  • Simple exit survey to capture sentiment (thumbs up or down)
Zendesk web chat sales website screenshot


  • Chat from £12/mo/agent
  • Email software £5/mo/agent. Includes basic Knowledge base/FAQ system
  • Optional Answer bot from £38/mo/50 queries
  • Chat box doesn’t pop up automatically. Not able to test out the chat feature
  • Mobile and browser apps from what I can see
  • Have API/Webhooks
Intercom Inbox web chat sales website screenshot


  • Chat from £38/mo unified comms inbox to manage chats. Can also manage social (Twitter/Facebook) direct messages
  • Help document/FAQ management £35/mo. Includes an operator bot to surface relevant content
  • Initial bot interaction asked for name/email/company/employees. Seemed slightly slower process to other companies
  • Chat box didn’t pop up automatically
  • Mobile and browser apps
  • Have API/Webhooks

Let me know which chat apps you use or the experience you have using them on other websites